Metabolic zonation of the liver : the oxygen gradient revisited
Kietzmann, Thomas (2017-01-17)
Thomas Kietzmann, Metabolic zonation of the liver: The oxygen gradient revisited, Redox Biology, Volume 11, April 2017, Pages 622-630, ISSN 2213-2317, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2017.01.012.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/).
The liver has a multitude of functions which are necessary to maintain whole body homeostasis. This requires that various metabolic pathways can run in parallel in the most efficient manner and that futile cycles are kept to a minimum. To a large extent this is achieved due to a functional specialization of the liver parenchyma known as metabolic zonation which is often lost in liver diseases. Although this phenomenon is known for about 40 years, the underlying regulatory pathways are not yet fully elucidated. The physiologically occurring oxygen gradient was considered to be crucial for the appearance of zonation; however, a number of reports during the last decade indicating that β-catenin signaling, and the hedgehog (Hh) pathway contribute to metabolic zonation may have shifted this view. In the current review we connect these new observations with the concept that the oxygen gradient within the liver acinus is a regulator of zonation. This is underlined by a number of facts showing that the β-catenin and the Hh pathway can be modulated by the hypoxia signaling system and the hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs). Altogether, we provide a view by which the dynamic interplay between all these pathways can drive liver zonation and thus contribute to its physiological function.
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